The procedure is performed after 18 years of age, when the jaws normally stop growing. Considering the intensity of the condition, the right procedure will be chosen. After the consultation, you will undergo an examination for a diagnosis. The corrective jaw surgery involves three phases.
In the first phase, the teeth are moved to a new position using orthodontic braces. With nine to 14 months of orthodontic treatment involved, the surgery may take several years to complete. Plaster models are made to ensure that the teeth are in proper alignment. X-rays, pictures and models of your teeth may be taken to help guide your surgery.
In the second phase, the oral and maxillofacial surgeon or dental practitioner like the ones at Chase Baker DDS, repositions your jaws during surgery. The surgery takes a few hours and is usually done on an outpatient basis. In some cases, bone grafting will be required to restore functionality and aesthetic appearance.
The third phase occurs two to three months after the surgery. The teeth are gently manipulated by the orthodontist, if required. Post-operative orthodontic treatment may take 6 months. After the final stage of the treatment, braces are removed.
Complications that are common with the procedure are minimal swelling and bruising. With the initial healing phase of about six weeks, complete healing of the jaws takes between nine and 12 months. Post-operative instructions will be provided for a smooth recovery such as soft diet of liquefied food for 7 to 10 days.
Reconstructive jaw surgery can also be combined with the treatment of sleep apnea to open the airway.
If you are a candidate for orthognathic jaw surgery, make sure to choose a plastic surgeon specialized in reconstructive as well as cosmetic surgery procedures. Understand the potential benefits as well as the risks involved in the procedure.